Prithvi Shaw replaces Rohit Sharma in India squad for New Zealand Test series

Opening batsman Prithvi Shaw has been named as Rohit Sharma's replacement in India's Test squad for the two-match Test series against New Zealand.

Prithvi Shaw

Prithvi Shaw returns to the national Test side after more than a year.   -  PTI

Mumbai opening batsman Prithvi Shaw has replaced Rohit Sharma in India's squad for the two-match Test series against New Zealand starting February 21.

The 16-member squad announced by the national selection committee also includes senior fast bowler Ishant Sharma, subject to fitness clearance, and his Delhi team-mate Navdeep Saini. Punjab batsman Shubman Gill retains his place from the team that had been named for the Test series against South Africa last year. Gill will go into the Test series with the weight of runs behind him after an unbeaten double-hundred for India A in the first unofficial Test against New Zealand A.

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It was confirmed on Monday that Rohit, who suffered a calf injury, would play no further part in India's tour of New Zealand. Karnataka's Mayank Agarwal has been named as Rohit's replacement in India's ODI squad.

Shaw returns to the national Test side after more than a year on the sidelines. He had last been named in India's squad for the Test series against Australia in December 2018. An ankle injury sustained during a warm-up match ruled him out of the Test leg of India's tour. He, however, recovered in time to play for Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2019 season.

Then, in July, he was handed a backdated suspension for a doping violation after inadvertently ingesting a prohibited substance, commonly found in cough syrups.

Since returning to action in November, Shaw has been among the runs for Mumbai and India A. He struck his career-best first-class score of 202 for Mumbai against Baroda in Ranji Trophy, while he made 240 runs in five innings for Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. And as part of India A's tour of New Zealand, Shaw made a 100-ball 150 in a warm-up match against New Zealand XI, while he has scored 105 runs in three unofficial ODI innings.

Ishant had been a doubt after he sustained an ankle injury during the Ranji Trophy match against Vidarbha last month.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya remains out of action as he continues his rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore after undergoing a surgery to remedy an acute lower-back issue.

India Test squad: Virat Kohli (c), Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma (subject to fitness clearance), Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini
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